SUMMER DEPRESSION

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SUMMER DEPRESSION

Topic |  
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psyche-thumbby Kit Nemenzo Balane

It’s unmistakably summer. The light is glaring and the heat scorching. Doctors advise us to be wary of heat stroke or dehydration. But not only that, some people also experience psychological disturbance apparently because of the high temperatures. Yes, they get sad when its sunny!

Sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true. Although rare, some people get anxious, has trouble sleeping, easily gets irritated and agitated, and experiences hypomania or increase movement especially the sex drive during the summer. We call this condition the reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder or reverse SAD.

Researchers who discovered about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is mostly related with the lack of sunlight during winter, also found out that there is an affective disorder which also comes out during the hot season. While it is quite rare, it can be truly disturbing for those who have it.

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The symptoms of reverse SAD return every year at about the same time and also disappears on schedule. While winter SAD is linked to a lack of sunlight, it is not clear if summer SAD is related to too much brightness. Some research suggests that the high temperatures might indeed play a role.

There are some difference between winter and summer SAD. People with summer SAD may lose weight whereas people with winter SAD may gain weight. Obviously, the difference in activity level influences the gain or lose in weight.

People with reverse SAD tends to have lots of energy while those with winter SAD has the opposite. It is nice to be with one who has reverse SAD because you will find the house clean and organized, the lawn mowed, the gardens cared for, the house fixed and so on. These individuals are productive but it can get to the point where the activity becomes counterproductive and it can be something that needs medical attention.

How do we treat summer SAD? The usual light therapy in winter SAD will have no place in treating one with summer SAD. Instead, medication and counselling can help. It is important that people who are predisposed to have SAD need to be cognizant when their negative thoughts start to affect their ability to cope and to take the medications that their doctors prescribe.

Like any other disorder, social support is very important in treating one with summer SAD. The presence of loved ones and friends is a source of strength for one who is sad during the summer.

So, when we know of someone who is depressed every time the sun is glaringly hot, let us not hesitate to refer them to the psychiatrist or psychologist. Remember, it can save a life so precious worthy of many summers and daylights.

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P.S. Get your very young child active during this summer. Enrol them in our Creative and Therapeutic Play at Bohol Child Head Start. Allow their growing brains to get appropriately stimulated and be immersed in their world of play. Contact 416-1248/09295571136 or visit us at G. Dangoy Street, Banat-I Hillside, Bool District, Tagbilaran City.

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